Police seize marijuana, arrest four in drug bust

LAWRENCEVILLE - Police arrested four men and seized more than $4 million in a drug bust over the weekend at a Lawrenceville home.

Authorities said a concerned citizen called the county's confidential drug hot line (770-962-NARC) and provided information leading investigators to a residence at 577 Summerville Drive on Friday.

A search of the house about 10 p.m. turned up 937 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of $4.25 million, said Cpl. Darren Moloney, spokesman for the Gwinnett County Police Department.

Officers also seized about $36,140 in cash, Moloney said.

Four people who reportedly lived in the house were arrested on a felony charge of trafficking marijuana. They were Juan Ruben Guerrero-Diaz, 37; Rosendo Noel Martinez-Corona, 26; Olga Madriz, 29; and Ramiro Valencia-Cardenas, 25.

All the suspects were being held without bond Tuesday at the Gwinnett County Detention Center in Lawrenceville.

This is the second-largest scale narcotics seizure in the past month by the Gwinnett Multi-Agency Drug Task Force. On Feb. 22, police raided a town house at 1202 Primrose View Circle in Lawrenceville. That investigation also started when a concerned neighbor called 911 to report suspicious activity at the location.

Scattered in several rooms throughout the house, investigators found 51,306 grams of methamphetamine with a street value of approximately $5.1 million and 8,566 grams of marijuana worth about $85,660.

A resident of the townhome, 28-year-old Jorge Moreno Marciel, is awaiting trial on charges of trafficking in methamphetamine and marijuana.

Following that drug bust, Maj. Bart Hulsey, who heads the drug task force, praised neighbors for being the eyes and ears for police in their community.

"If citizens are vigilant and pay attention to what is going on in their area and let us know, there's no telling what kind of small information they give us could lead to a major bust like this," Hulsey said in February.

A coalition of Gwinnett law enforcement agencies in 2005 more than tripled the amount of narcotics seizures from the previous year and also arrested a record number of drug offenders.

The drug task force locked up 1,475 alleged drug offenders in 2005, up from 1,314 the previous year. In addition, $34 million worth of narcotics were seized last year, more than triple the $9,543,268 seized in 2004, Moloney said.